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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  February 19, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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that comes back to knock you out. ♪ looks like another love tko >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. and thanks so much for joining us. i'll be back tonight at 11:00 eastern right after the democratic debate. i'll have special coverage and interviews with the candidates. "ac 360" starts right now. and good evening from las vegas. breaking news tonight. the president choosing someone to oversee the intelligence community and with it the nation's security who has no real intelligence experience. that story ahead. we begin, though, right here at a key moment in the race for the presidential nomination. michael bloomberg, who is not even on the ballot will be on the debate stage here tonight which means that millions of voters who may only know him through the campaign ads he's already spent more than $400 million on will get to see how he thinks on his feet. he could be in for some tough
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questions, about his record in regard to stop and frisk and alleged sexist comments in the past. he's taking hits from other rivals, some who say he's not even a true democrat. >> he's been a republican his whole life. he didn't endorse barack or me when we ran. he's using his pictures like they're good buddies. i'm going to talk about his record. >> that's largely untrue. he was a long time democrat who changed party affiliations to run for mayor of new york and then became an investment. he did not endorse president obama in 2008, he did in 2012. blook boom is taking hits from elizabeth warren. instead of focusing on that a sanders spokesperson picked a fight with bloomberg over which 78-year-old candidate was healthier just a day after senator sanders, who recently had a heart attack, told me he
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would not be releasing his complete madcal records. do you think the american people deserve to know more about his health going forward? >> i think the american people deserve to know exactly as much as every other candidate has released in this race currently and historically. what you're seeing is reminiscent of some of the kind of smear, kind of skept system campaigns run against a lot of different candidates in the past questioning where they're from, aspects of their lineage, et cetera, et cetera. and it's really telling given that none of the same concern is demonstrated for michael bloomberg who is the same age as bernie sanders, who has suffered heart attacks in the past. >> the bloomberg camp fired back pointing out michael bloomberg has never had a heart attack but had a stent incertaintied 20 years ago to open a blocked coronary artery. a spokesperson walked back her earlier remarks.
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it was the political story of the day today and perhaps the night as well. joining us now is cnn political director, david, how much criticism do you think bloomberg will face tonight and not only questions from the moderators but the other candidates? >> reporter: yeah, i would say a lot. i think he will be at the center of attention even though it's bernie sanders in the driver's seat for this nomination race is the clear leader, anderson, but bloomberg is the new entrant and he is stepping out from behind the television screen, if you will, of all the paid ads and will stand on the stage as an equal with his fellow competitors for the first time. and they are eager to take him on. just last night when you were moderating the town halls, sanders and buttigieg and klobuchar all went after him. they are eager to try and bring him down to the reality of being a candidate in the mix.
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>> it's going to be so fascinating and bloomberg has not been on a debate stage at this level ever, and it's been quite a while since he's, frankly, been in the rough and tumble of a daily political race. if bloomberg is the sole focus, sanders then, arguably, would be a beneficiary of that if it takes all the attention off him and other candidates challenging his policies or his proposals. >> it's such a good point, anderson, which is why i'm eager to see what do the likes of pete buttigieg and amy klobuchar, joe biden, elizabeth warren, are they going to just not spend their time taking on the current front-runner bernie sanders because they're so focused on the rise of michael bloomberg? if they're dividing their time, is it as effective of a chance to try and halt sanders' momentum? you raise a really good point
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especially, as you know, the more moderate side of the equation, a big chunk of the party right now. somebody is looking to consolidate that, and the folks who have been in the race are trying to make sure it's not michael bloomberg, but you can't just step away from bernie sanders and let him run away without being touched. >> the sparring that took place today between sanders and the bloomberg campaigns over their respective health histories, what's the strategy behind that? i guess it began with the sanders spokesperson on cnn's "new day" alleging that bloomberg had heart attacks, plural. the campaign says that's simply not the case. they're both 78 years old. where does this conversation get them? >> yeah, i thought the bloomberg campaign response was really interesting, anderson. it gets at a key strategic point. not only did they say that's not
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true and obviously the spokesperson said she misspoke, but they said it was trumpian in what they were doing. this was the bloomberg strategy in how to deal with sanders, trying to paint him as of the ilk of donald trump, more a divider than a uniter within the democratic party. they were going on a frontal attack about his online supporters and some of their bullying tactics online. now they're trying to say they deliberately went on and was lying about michael bloomberg having a heart attack and calling it very trumpy. this is a clear strategy to try and halt some of the sanders' momentum by painting him as an outsider and divider which, of course, is precisely the opposite message sanders is trying to paint for himself. >> david chalian, thank you very much. for more perspective from our political professionals, david axelrod and gloria borger. gloria, it's impossible to say just how much the dynamic could
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shift whether it's in bloomberg's favor or against him. >> well, it's going to shift dramatically. what we will see tonight and i think david was talking about this, we're going to see a public vetting of michael bloomberg, and the other candidates there, including bernie sanders, are going to try to disqualify him while he is going to try and come out behind the $400 million curtain of glossy ads and introduce himself to the american public. the public really doesn't know who he is or how he will answer questions or how he will stand up against these other candidates. i was speaking to a source on the campaign today who said he is ready for everything that will be thrown at him, but they're just a little nervous he doesn't get aggravated by all of these attacks on him because he is not used to it, and he's going to get it. >> david, there's plenty of billionaires who are not used to
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having people basically go after them and knit pick and critique their past and most recent comments. what does a win look like for bloomberg tonight? >> i think if he walks out under his own power that would be good. he's going to -- look, first of all, you mentioned it earlier. one of the things i'd be concerned about if i were his team all the candidates on the stage are in mid season form. they've been through eight debates. they've all gotten better over the course of those debates. they're accustomed to the pressures of being in these debates although this one is perhaps more pressure than the others, and he comes in without any spring training and he's never been a particularly noteworthy debater or speaker. and now he's going to be under siege, and i think that's very difficult. one thing i would say, though, about all of the darts thrown, if you were a moderate
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candidate, one of those center/left candidates, i'm not sure the way you get to where you want to go is by going after mike bloomberg. the way you get to where you want to go may be by going after bernie sanders because the big question right now in the democratic party is sanders going to run away with the nomination because the moderate wing of the party is divided much as donald trump ran away with it in 2016. you want to score some points with the center/left voters. it may be better to focus on bernie sanders and allow sanders and elizabeth warren to focus on bloomberg. >> what do you make of that? as much as sande erers has a lo stake tonight, certainly if everybody is focusing on bloomberg, it does essentially let him continue the momentum. >> we're in this phenomenal period in the history of the democratic party. the main line democrats, the
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ones who have been a part of the party, loyal to the party, are being squeezed out by a bottom-up insurgency from the left. powered by millions of people and now by this top down incursion from the right which is bloomberg, sometimes democrat, sometimes not. you have these two forces, both outside the democratic party that now are dominating the discussion, sanders and bloomberg. sanders would be happy for everybody to beat up on bloomberg because he is sailing to the nomination. this guy is at the top of the polls. i was talking to a cousin of mine in tennessee who said he was for biden but biden looks weak so he switched from biden, a moderate, to bernie. he's picking up black votes, votes everywhere. the best thing to happen to bernie sanders is bloomberg coming in and absorbing all the fire from the moderates if that happens tonight. >> the spokeswoman spoke back the concern about his health
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today. he had promised to relows his medical records. he has now said he's not going to release any more than he already has which is three doctors notes. we'll talk to dr. sanjay gupta later on. there's a lot of information in those notes. is that the debate sanders wants? >> no, not at all. do you want to have the debate between them about their heart health? i think this was a mistake on the part of the sanders' campaign. they did back off. you have to pay attention to the fact that bernie sanders had a heart attack just months ago. and look at him. he looks great. he looks great on the trail. when people are making a decision about the president,
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they need information. there's a precedent for that and that is donald trump. that is why folks say i've already released a lot more than normal. it used to be even when john mccain was running and was a cancer survivor, thousands of pages of doctors notes, and we're not seeing that anymore. and i think it's an unfortunate trend that honestly was started with donald trump. >> we're going to pick up this after the break. we're going to work on the audio issues with david axelrod. a closer look at mike bloomberg's best record and clues to what may happen. the breaking news, the president's choice to fill a job created after 9/11 to prevent another 9/11. how his pick differs from all the distinguished and highly experienced intelligence professionals who have held the job before. that ahead. feel the clarity of new
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talking about tonight's debate and how different it may be from the eight that came before it. bernie sanders facing mike bloomberg, the newcomer. seasoned campaigners look sanders, warren and biden facing someone who hasn't debated in more than a decade. that said, whatever he lacks in recent experience mike bloomberg brings talent to bear as a look at his past debate talent shows. more on that from randi kaye. would you like to apologize for or recant any or all of these four very interesting statements? >> you've taken them all out of context. >> are they accurate? >> they were certainly said but out of context, and it's a typical smear when the time gets close. >> reporter: that was michael bloomberg in 2001 debating his opponent in the race for mayor of new york city. now, almost two decades later, the stakes are much higher.
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>> he's both confident and arrogant on the debate stage because he does have such a command of facts. >> reporter: debate expert brett o'donnell says it's critical bloomberg connect with the audience instead of just spewing facts. >> he thinks if he unloads a bunch of facts and figures he'll get the audience to make a decision just like he would make as a business person. the problem with that is it's devoid of any contact and connection with an audience. >> reporter: o'donnell says it's clear from watching bloomberg debate that it's not something bloomberg enjoys. despite that o'donnell says during debates bloomberg manages to stay low key and tries not to do any harm. bloomberg looks to avoid any major conflict, though he still gets combative with opponents. >> has he flip-flopped? >> everybody know what is my opponent stains for, for complaining, for identifying problems and never coming up with solutions. that's different than governing. it's easy to be a critic.
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it is very hard to lead. >> in the past mike bloomberg has always returned fire when fired upon. so he is not afraid to counterpunch his opponents. i think he functions under the premise that the best defense is a good offense. >> reporter: o'donnell says bloomberg is known to fire back like when his opponent suggested he made charitable contributions only to get something in return. here is bloomberg putting his opponent in his place. >> i'm very proud of our philanthropy. he's getting money to his campaign and i'm giving money out, unless i missed what you describe. >> reporter: don't expect bloomberg to raise his voice, o'donnell says, and don't expect him to make things easy for the moderators either. this was him in 2009 answering a question about diversity in spanish, much to the moderator's display. [ speaking foreign language ] >> wait a minute, wait, wait. in fairness -- >> reporter: with some downplaying expectations, we'll
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see if michael bloomberg comes ready to play. randi kaye, cnn, new york. there's plenty to talk about for the candidates tonight and us as well. back with us is david axelrod, van jones and gloria borger. what are you anticipating tonight? he hasn't done this for quite a while. >> yeah, well, i think you'll see some of that. i think the greatest challenge for him is that he has kind of re-invented himself for this race. he walked away from the stop and frisk policy that he defended for a very long time. he's fashioning himself as a very close ally of president obama, which wasn't true. they worked together. they weren't by any means close buds and a series of things like that, that he is trying to clean up for purposes of this race. one of the reasons bernie
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sanders is doing so well he's been saying the same thing for 50 years and bloomberg is stepping out from behind these ads and he's going to have to defend some of those past statements and that he's gone through a metamorphosis and he will be hammered by his opponents on these points. >> van, if this becomes a race of sanders versus bloomberg, it's -- you couldn't pick two more different people. sanders is the exact -- bloomberg is the exact kind of person sanders is running against. >> he's been talking about the billionaires, the billionaires and now one of the biggest in the world on stage with him. i think in addition to what axelrod was saying, something
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about those living rooms. you watched elizabeth warren become an incredibly good presence, on the mic and the debate stage. why? she was listening for months and months and months to ordinary people. he has not done that, bloomberg. he has not been in those living rooms. this is a risky moon shot move, like me trying to run a marathon not having gone to the gym for the past year. if he pulls it off, though, if he's able to come off the couch and stand with these folks and distinguish himself it will be a real boost and a shock to the field. what he's trying to pull off is very hard to do. >> the analogy on the marathon is pretty apt. >> and don't forget he skipped the first four races. he's parachuting in and talking
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to his campaign they're saying a couple things. first of all they want him to figure out a way, and i don't know if he can do this, to tell his life story. this is, they say, somebody who wasn't made to money, made his own money, comparing him to donald trump, obviously. and they want him to tell the american public about where he came from and why he is where he is. and the other goal they have people can see him as a president on that stage tonight. voters size up people and say, well, is this the person i can see as presidential? this is the person that i can trust. this is the person who will represent me and my interests. that is very diverse in the democratic party right now. but he has these big hurdles that he has to cross, and the question is, how does he do it? he's not a warm and fuzzy guy, as we all know. how does he appeal to the public
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and say i'm the pied piper, follow me. you really should follow me. >> it will be a fascinating debate. go ahead, david. >> i think he's going to take a page from biden here and hope that it works better for him and say i'm the guy who can beat donald trump. i'm tough enough, i'm well funded, i'm fortified, i'm experienced. i think that's what you'll hear from him tonight. >> thanks very much. appreciate it. coming up, andrew yang. he left the race after new hampshire. he has since joined us at cnn as our latest political commentat r commentator. ♪ 1 in 3 deaths is caused by cardiovascular disease. millions of patients are treated with statins-but up to 75% persistent cardiovascular risk still remains. many have turned to fish oil supplements. others, fenofibrates or niacin. but here's a number you should take to heart: zero-the number of fda approvals these products have, when added to statins, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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so what does each candidate need to do in tonight's debate to maintain viability as a candidate my next guest andrew yang had plenty of time throughout the first stages of the primary battle. safe to say he has gotten to know most of the candidates pretty well. andrew yang left the race after the new hampshire primary but proved there is life after politics and joined cnn as a political xhen kacommentatocomm. we're happy to have him and discuss tonight's debate. welcome to cnn. we're happy that you're joining us. this is obviously the first time we'll see michael bloomberg on the debate stage. what are your expectations? >> this is the bloomberg debate, anderson. the fact is the other candidates have had eight debates they've had their talking points hard t his first time. he's not accustomed to getting
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hostile questioning on a regular basis. he's not accustomed to getting his past comments on sex and race dragged. so it's going to be a real test of temperament and even humility for mike tonight. and the question is whether he can take the slings and arrows coming his way in stride. >> that's one of the things people don't realize is being -- running for president, as you well know, it makes you -- you get better at it as you go, being in town halls in new hampshire and iowa and elsewhere and on debate stages and it teaches you a certain amount of humidity and you're taking questions from all sorts of people and reporters. mike bloomberg hasn't done that for a very long time and he's been in a rarefied ecosphere of a multibillionaire. do you think he knows what he's getting into? >> he has a very, very strong team, and if i'm his team, i've
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been coaching him to take hostile questioning and his record and his message. i would be playing him like that zen music to try to chill him out. >> you wouldn't go for metallica or nine inch nails or something? >> no, no, no. he has to try to be presidential and keep his cool through everything. for him the pitfalls or if he expresses irritation or contempt, and the fact is he's going to have a lot of contempt directed at him. he has to react with the opposite. >> what does it say to you about the support for bernie sanders that mike bloomberg without actually being in the race, although spending a huge amount on television commercials in two new national polls is behind sanders in the number two spot. the fact that somebody who hasn't even really been running is supposedly, according to
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these two polls on the national level, number two. what does that say about the support for sanders? >> all of the attacks leveled against mike tonight, the second target will be bernie because he's the front-runner at this point. he's almost certainly going to win nevada. and the other candidates are going to try to bring down the front-runner. i would expect attacks on bernie tonight on his electability, his health, the online followers of his that have some bad tendencies. even his family's financial histories or dealings. like anything will be fair game because many of the other candidates are being told that it is not acceptable to have an okay debate, that they have to draw blood on either mike or bernie or produce something spectacular in terms of a moment because the other candidates can see if bernie wins nevada, which he's expected to, it's going to be harder and harder for them to
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make the case. >> if this boils down to a race between bernie sanders it could not be a more stark -- if you were writing this as a screenplay, the guy campaigning -- the impact of billionaires on our system and to have a billionaire being the one running against him dropping huge amounts of money in the race. bernie sanders has said, look, he'll support whoever is the democratic nominee. he said that before bloomberg was in the race but subsequently he still would support bloomberg but clearly that would be a tough pill to swallow and do you think his supporters would vote for bloomberg? >> i think you're right that bernie and mike represent in some ways the two extremes of the party, and i think it will be tough to galvanize bernie supporters behind bloomberg and
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vice versa. certainly i will support whoever the nominee is and i think both bernie and mike have said they would do the same. it's one thing to say you will support and to go out to the polls and fight as hard as they would for you. i think this will be a real issue for the democratic party and soul-searching in the days ahead trying to figure out how to bring the party together regardless of who is the nominee. you can't rule out the other candidat candidates. bernie is the front-runner with bloomberg coming up quickly. >> andrew yang, great to have you with us and thanks so much. >> it's great to be here. coming up next the president's choice for a top leadership job in the intelligence community. candidates' lack of experience in intelligence. ♪ buckle up for some insurance themed fun ♪ ♪ at progressive park! children: yeah! announcer: ride the totally realistic traffic jam.
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as we mentioned there's breaking news tonight. president trump says he will name the current american ambassador to germany as the next acting director of intelligence, richard grenell, a staunch loyalist to the president and certainly a controversial choice even amongst some republicans. joining me now is jim acosta. so, jim, what's the thinking behind this move? this is not someone with an intelligence background.
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>> reporter: covering national security they're all talking to their sources and we're all hearing basically one thing, that rick grenell, the current u.s. ambassador to germany will be the acting director of national intelligence may start as soon as tomorrow was a fierce loyalist, is a fierce loyalist of the president and is expected to behave as such in this capacity even though the director of national intelligence position was created in the aftermath of 9/11 to be an a political position but look at the case of the current acting or outgoing acting director of national intelligence joe maguire. he testified during the impeachment inquiry that the whistle-blower at the center of all of this did the right thing, that he took the right steps in blowing the whistle on the president's phone call with the leader of ukraine on july 25th. the president obviously didn't like that. in the words of one official i spoke with this evening who has been keeping tabs on the situation, the president essentially is filling the gaps, finding people that weren't
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viewed as sufficiently loyal and replacing them with fierce loyalists. that's what's happening right now, anderson. >> if he is just the acting dni, he doesn't have to go through senate confirmation. how much support does he have among not only members of the administration but congressional republicans? >> reporter: well, certainly inside the white house, among the political advisers who talk to the president, around the president on a regular basis, they like this pick. they see rick grenell as being one of them. when you talk to a trump adviser like i talked to a trump adviser earlier this evening who said, listen, rick grenell is a polarizing figure. this is somebody who is in addition to being somebody who rubs people the wrong way up on capitol hill and diplomatic circles and so on because he has sharp angles, according to one trump adviser i spoke to, he is viewed as being out of his league when it comes to the position of being the director of national intelligence. i talked to a senior republican
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congressional aide just a short while ago who questioned whether or not rick grenell could be confirmed as the permanent director of national intelligence and said to me earlier this evening, anderson, this pick is obviously not going to go over well with some members of national security committees, related committees up on capitol hill. so it remains to be seen how well this pick does. i talked to a congressional aid earlier this evening who compared this to what happened with john ratcliffe. remember he was picked, the congressman from texas, was picked to replace maguire and dan coates over the summer. the former director of national intel jenligenc intelligence. his nomination was pulled and the concern is, and it's already bubbling up, anderson, that rick grenell could go through a similar experience if the white house does not handle this perfectly in the coming days, anderson. >> jim acosta, thanks for some perspective on the grenell
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appointment and why it is polarizing. take a look at the experience of the men who have held the same position under president trump. the current acting director joseph maguire is a navy vice admiral and former director of the national counterterrorism center, indiana senator dan coates served on the intelligence committee and here is the experience level of those who held the same job since the agency was created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. james clapper ran the defense intelligence agency. dennis blair was head of the navy's pacific command. in each case people were in the intelligence community or roles overseeing it. some perspective from former republican presidential candidate rick santorum. cnn legal analyst carrie cordero who served at the office of the director of national intelligence. is ambassador grenell qualified to be acting director of the national intelligence? >> he's not, anderson. this is a pretty outrageous appointment as acting dni.
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if we look at the past five senate confirmed individuals who served as direct osh of national intelligence they had decades of intelligence, military, or diplomatic experience. some of those different characteristics combined. they were individuals who were extremely knowledgeable about the intelligence community. this is -- the intelligence community is a $60 billion plus enterprise. it's not something that one just picks up as you go along on the job and really his qualifications, he's the ambassador and has a little bit of experience in terms of being a consumer of intelligence but beyond that, my understanding of his resume is he is a communications professional and someone who would be more attune to being a spokesperson and not the director of national
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intelligence. >> senator santorum, is that fair? would you be comfortable with the appointment even on an acting basis? >> first off, on an acting basis, i don't have any say in whether the president keeps them on an active basis because there's no confirmation. >> would you be comfortable with him being the dni, acting or not? >> i have concerns about his qualifications. i don't think anyone can say he's clearly the most qualified person for this job. the question is what's he trying to accomplish for donald trump? a couple things. number one, i think he's going to be a disruptive force and he's going to be a disruptive force at a time when the president feels like there are people in and around who have not had his back and not been fair to him -- have not been fair to him. and so i think you will see
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grenell be disruptive. having said that, the dni was a position i remember voting on the law that created the dni. the dni was created because we had lots of intelligence that was not being shared among agencies and this was the guy who was going to sit on top and bring everything together. i'm not sure that's what's happened. that's what the role is is to help coordinate intelligence. i'm not sure if you look at his resume, his ability to sort of work with other people and bring things together and coordinate. i'm not sure that's his strongest asset. >> if he is a disrupter and by all accounts senator santorum is right about that. that is not the job description necessarily of somebody who brings people together and coordinating intelligence. >> it's not. the director of national intelligence sits atop the other 16 intelligence community agencies and elements and the director coordinates the budget
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and coordinates policy. he's not responsible for the actual operational activities, and so much of the role of the dni and certainly the dni i worked for in the last decade was coordinating those other agency heads and getting people to come along with ideas and ways to move the intelligence community forward. in addition the intelligence community is supposed to be and operate in a nonpartisan way. it's really critical for the trust of the intelligence community that it be viewed as one of the entities in government that is not partisan. that is not the agency that has the president's back or that is doing his political bidding. and to put a person in place who does not have the qualifications, does not have the experience and is known as a politically polarizing figure is
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deeply unfair to the workforce of the intelligence community, and is really unfair to the public who needs to have confidence in the agency's work. >> look, i don't have any problem with someone -- in fact, i support the president having people who are loyal to him in positions that are important positions in his cabinet. i don't want people who are disloyal. i think he's had in his own mind problems with some of his -- of those people within his administration. i have no problem with a loyalist. i have questions, i think a lot of republicans have questions about whether his demeanor is the right and whether his experience is right. i think republicans will rightly question this choice based on those characteristics and not focus on the whole loyalty issue. >> rick santorum, i appreciate it. still to come tonight
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attorney general barr and president trump at the white house saying all is well with their relationship despite the president's interference in the roger stone case. one source tells cnn the opposite. more just ahead. (woman) no matter what business you are in, digital transformation never stops. verizon keeps business ready for what's next. (man) we weave security into their business... (second man) virtualize their operations... (third man) and could even build ai into their customer experiences. we also keep them ready for the next big opportunity. like 5g. (woman) where machines could talk to each other
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i'm proud to be a part of aag, i trust em, i think you can too. let's check with chris and see what he's working on for cuomo prime time. >> all this talk about what's going to happen with the stone case. obviously there's a sentence tomorrow that will be delayed, but we have one of the jurors from that trial with his first reaction to the president basically saying they didn't do their civic duty. then we have one of the president's big defenders on capitol hill coming on to say how these pardons and what just happened with the director of national intelligence is okay for this country. we'll take it on tonight. >> all right, chris, see you then in a couple of minutes from now. just ahead, bill barr's
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otezla. show more of you. lobster fan like wild caught lobster, butter poached, creamy and roasted. or try lobster sautéed with crab, shrimp and more. so hurry in and let's lobsterfest. or get it to go at red lobster dot com the president today in a series of retweets embraced the notion that he should, quote, clean house at the justice department. at the same time, the white house insisted the president and attorney general barr have a, quote, good relationship. that's in the wake of a source telling cnn that barr has considered resigning. so the question is what to make of it all. joining us is cnn's chief legal
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analyst jeffrey toobin. jeff, attorney general barr made it very clear the president and his tweets -- or at least he said the president's tweets make it impossible for him to do his job. the president just this morning was tweeting again about the justice department. >> but barr is doing what he's told. he had this one statement to akz news that woe is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets, but do you see them doing anything? is he really going to resign? no way. he is doing the president's bidding. he is reviewing all of mueller's convictions. he is going outside the norms of how the justice department is supposed to behave in line with the president's wishes. so i think all this talk of resigning is just a big show to make him look more independent than he actually is. >> and that's what you think it is, a message not only to the public but people within the justice department to at least give him some cover that he has
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their back and cares about independence? >> that's it. talk is cheap. you know, leaks about threats to resign are very -- have no cost to him and no impact on the justice department. i think it's just a show of no consequence. >> you know, given all the noise around the stone sentencing and the president continuing to weigh in on what he thinks should happen, is the judge being put in a no-win situation? >> i think this is one of the most unpredictable sentencing you come across. most judges sentence within the sentencing dpied linguidelines. they're not required to but they do. the way they were originally calculated was seven to nine years. that's what set off the president and made the justice department say we're going to leave it all up to the judge. seven to nine years does seem like an awfully long time. it's an unusual guidelines calculation as far as i can tell.
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but the question is, is judge amy berman jackson going to go outside the guidelines and look like she is caving to the president's demands? i think she's a very conscientious, strong judge. there's a reason why federal judges have lifetime tenure, so i wouldn't be surprised to see her go outside the seven to nine years, but there are a lot of variables here, and i think it's a very unpredictable result tomorrow. >> and then of course regardless of whatever the sentence is, then there's the possibility of a presidential pardon. >> i would say the odds of a presidential pardon are close to 100%. i mean if you look at what the president has said about stone, about michael flynn, his former national security advisor, he has said over and over again he thinks these are unfair prugs prosecutions. the only question is is it before election day or after election day?
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i think the president has these people's backs like he had mike milken's back and bernie karik's back and rod blagojevich. i think both stone and flynn are going home by the end of the year. >> the news continues when i hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> thank you, anderson. i am chris cuomo and welcome to "prime time." we are seeing right now in realtime what a president can do. he just named a head of national intelligence who is not a day of experience in the field. think about that. not in intelligence, not in national security, not in the military. he also pardoned political friends who are clearly corrupt. and he may do the same for roger stone. but we have a juror from that case who's here to set the record straight. what do you say? let's get after it.